Take that, puck haters. NHL hockey roared back Saturday as CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada enjoyed a record return. An overnight, estimated 3,317,000 viewers watched the Leafs defeat the Canadiens in the prime time 7 p.m. game, with 1,473,000 watching the afternoon tilt between the Winnipeg Jets and the victorious Ottawa Senators. Later, another 1,471,000 stayed up for the Canucks losing effort against the Anaheim Ducks.
CBC says that is the biggest audience ever for a regular season Prime/East game,  at least in the modern people meter world of counting heads. Any notion that there might be any kind of a boycott after the the lockout was erased by the sight of so many fans walking the streets of Vancouver in Canucks jerseys late last week.
Even the 6:30 p.m. HNiC pre-game averaged 2,106,000 national 2+ viewers.
Opposite on CTV, the Skate Canada International coverage did 686,000 and back-to-back Big Bangs flirted above and below the million mark. Looks like Daddy’s back.

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